Thrifted Finds

thrifted findsI have been cooped up in the house for the last several days, taking care of my sick little one. Yesterday, I needed a break so I went thrift shopping while Daddy and Simon stayed home, and I found a few new items:

~The tank top was only two dollars plus change, and is a silky fabric with a pretty print and a very flattering fit. It will be great, paired with a pencil skirt for summer days that call for something a little bit dressier, or with a cardigan over it the rest of the year.

The skirt is something I have actually been looking to find for a while now, and I found this one for five dollars. I have been trying to find a casual skirt that will be great to toss over a swimsuit at the beach, or to wear to picnics, barbecues, and other casual summer activities. This one is made of a cotton blend that stretches, and it feels as comfortable as wearing sweatpants.

Finally, I have wanted a leopard print belt for a long time, but belts are very expensive, and as you might have figured out by now, I very rarely pay full price for anything. So when I spotted this one for two dollars, I did a little mental happy dance.

I am looking forward to mixing and matching these new finds with my wardrobe.

Have you done any thrifting lately?

Thinking of Rangely

for rangelyLast summer, Simon, Jeramy and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a weekend with family in a cabin in Rangely, Maine. It was absolutely gorgeous there, and so much fun, and this year Jeramy and I have the whole week off from work to go back again. I am really looking forward to this family vacation. In fact, despite it being 3 months away still, I am so excited that I am already day-dreaming about what to pack.

Rangely Wish List:

1-Some new sunglasses. I currently don’t have any, and though the ones pictured above are the style I like, I require a prescription for my vision, so I will have to make an eye doctor appointment soon. Hopefully I can find something similar in my price range.

2-A floppy sun hat. This one, from Forever 21 is adorable, but I have a child-sized head, so I will be checking out the kids section at a few stores hoping to find something to keep my head out of the sun.

3-Bermuda shorts. I prefer this length, and I really like this pair from Old Navy.

4-Elizabeth, from Delightfully Tacky has a terrific sense of style, and I found this outfit she wore to explore to be perfect for the Maine woods.

5-A tote bag for walking down to the little sandy beach spot at the campground, with Simon’s beach toys, some sunscreen, and a towel is a definite must-pack item.

6-I love photography, and I find nature inspiring. If I am going to be hiking  and exploring, a crossbody camera bag would be very helpful. This one is really cute, but a bit pricey. I’d love to find something like it more in my budget.

7-Lately I have been hiking in my wellies. They are good for the wet and mud, but not much else. I definitely need to get some hiking shoes.

8-Finally, here is my dream bathing suit. Again, really expensive, but if it ever goes on sale… In the meantime, I’ll be looking for something similar but cheaper, if that exists.

If you have any tips on more affordable versions of any of the above, or know of a kid-sized floppy sun hat, please let me know!

Just Stopping By…

(Outfit Notes: T-shirt-so old the brand name has worn off/Necklace-JC Penny/Skirt-Old Navy/Sandals-Target)

I love the way a different season can make old clothes feel new again. For example, this t-shirt, which I have had kicking around as long as I can remember…and usually only layer under sweaters in the colder Maine months, ends up looking bright again when paired with my fun green skirt. I think the color combination makes me look a bit like a watermelon, and is very summery!

I wish I had more to talk about tonight, but I have a good book waiting for me on this rainy summer night. See you next time!

My First Foray Into Pattern Mixing

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-a gift from my darling nephews//Top-GAP brand, Thrifted//Belt-Maurices//Skirt-Thrifted//Sandals-Target)

I have seen a lot of other women mix their patterns up a lot lately, and have wanted to try it out. Wearing solids all the time may be safe, but it means clothes with fun design and pattern get worn less, and it hinders wardrobe creativity. I know that when you mix patterns, there are certain guidelines you can follow to make sure it looks like you are dressing on purpose, rather than just throwing things together and appearing a bit clown-like.

I will be figuring this list of guidelines out as I go, but the one I used on this day was to keep my patterns in the same color palette. The blue and white stripes of the shirt match the blue and white colors that are present in the skirt, which pulls the whole thing together. I also wore matching blue earrings, and kept my shoes and belt neutral.

I have to say, I loved this outfit. It was comfortable and fun, and made me feel festive for the Fourth of July celebration we were having.

Do you mix patterns? If so, are there any “rules” you follow?

I Love My Denim Skirt

(Outfit Notes: Turquoise Sequined Tee-Kohl’s/Necklace-Avon/Denim Skirt-Target/Belt-Target/Sandals-Target)

Yes, the necklace is from Avon. I had a co-worker who sold it years ago. Oddly enough, I think this necklace, which is mostly plastic and cost me only a few dollars, is the one piece of jewelry I get the most compliments on.

I threw this outfit on yesterday, after waking from an afternoon nap. (Sometimes I still subscribe to “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”, even though he’s 2.) We were invited out for frozen custard, and this denim skirt, which I have owned for years, has become my go-to piece for when I have no time to worry about what to wear. Seriously, it goes with everything!


What is your go-to wardrobe staple?

Play Clothes

(Outfit Notes: Top-Too old to remember and I cut the tag out/Necklace-Mexicali Blues/Jeans-Old Navy/Bracelet-Gift/Sandals-Target)

As a Mumma, many days it is impractical for me to wear a skirt, heels, or anything that is in any way restrictive. However, I don’t always want to hang out in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt. (Though sometimes I do this before nap time.)

So, I need clothes I can play in. I need to be able to crawl on the floor and roar like a dinosaur, to have a tickle fight, to sit on the floor next to the potty and read stories, and to go to the playground. Outfits like this one allow me to do all of these things comfortably, while still expressing my sense of style.

These sandals are my most recent style related purchase. I have been eyeballing them for weeks, but kept waiting and waiting. I wanted something I liked a bit more than flip-flops, and that could be either dressed up or down, and at only $15 these were the perfect pick for me.

I also really love this funky clay bead necklace I bought as part of a 30th birthday outfit gift to myself. The bracelet is made of dried coffee beans, and was a gift from my friend Abby, who knows of my coffee obsession addiction. Adding some fun jewelry to a basic t-shirt and jeans makes me feel a bit more like myself.

What do you wear to play in?

Thrifted Tropics

(Outfit Notes: Green Top-Thrifted/Skirt-Thrifted/Earrings-Old Navy/Flip Flops-Old Navy)

As a (mostly) stay-at-home Mumma, relying on one person’s income while also trying to save for a house, I definitely rely on a well-defined budget. Jeramy and I each take $15 dollars a week to buy ourselves something, whether it be lunch with a friend, a new CD, or some Starbucks. In my case, I often browse the clearance racks for items to fill in my wardrobe. I recently also decided that going thrift shopping could become very useful to me, allowing me to find things without spending too much.

The other day I popped into Goodwill and ended up finding two skirts and two tops, for just over $15. That makes two entire outfits minus shoes. Not all thrifting trips are successful, sometimes I find absolutely nothing, but that day I was quite pleased.

The outfit here is one of the shirts I got that day, as well as one of the skirts. The top is GAP brand, so new it probably cost at least $20. (This is based on looking at other embellished tees on their website.) Green is my favorite color, and I loved the little sparkly embellishment on the pocket. It was an added bonus that it coordinated so well with this tropical print skirt. I have been keeping my eye out for a button-front skirt for a while now, and was excited when this one fit me. The print and the colors are perfect for this time of year, going into summer.

Since today was Father’s Day, and we were just taking it easy together as a family and doing a little shopping (for a new shower curtain liner, how unexciting), I thought flip-flops would keep me from feeling over-dressed. They are also comfortable for hanging around in.

I am really happy about this thrift shop success. Do you ever go thrifting? Find anything good lately?

Shorted Out

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-gift from a friend/Blouse-Kohl’s altered/Tank-H&M/Shorts-Old Navy/Brown peep toe flats-Mudd Brand)

Oh, shorts! I have had a lifelong issue with them. For some reason, I feel less confident when I wear them than I do in skirts. However, summer is here and as a Mom, a skirt is not always the most practical choice. Ever gone down the slide on the playground in a skirt? Not the best idea.

So, I recently purchased this pair of khaki shorts at Old Navy, and I am trying to learn to love them. And the way my knees look. And the way my calves look. I remind myself that no one else is going to scrutinize my legs, and if they did that would point to a lack in their self-esteem, rather than a flaw with me. Though my legs may not be the longest and the leanest in the bunch, they have always been very strong, and without them I wouldn’t even be able to contemplate taking Simon on that playground slide.

I have learned over the years that I prefer the feeling of bermuda length shorts. They give me more coverage, don’t ride up as readily, and provide a buffer between the full length of my thighs in the sweat-inducing summer heat. I also feel a bit better about running/jumping/climbing in them without worry of what might show in various positions. Some fashion rules dictate that you have to be a tall woman to wear bermuda shorts, lest you risk appearing stubby. To me, a touch of perceived “stubbiness” is a small price to pay for all of the benefits to this length that I listed above.

In an attempt to embrace these shorts, I decided to pair them with one of my most feminine and delicate tops. I don’t often wear this lacy tunic, but since our plans this day were for shopping, errands, and time spent at home rather than in the great outdoors, I thought it would make a nice foil for the practical khaki shorts.

A couple of things I should mention here:

1-My shirt was on inside out for most of the day! No one noticed, not me, not Jeramy, and not my best friend. It wasn’t until hours later, when I was sitting in the car and glanced over at my shoulder, and the seam caught my eye. “Gosh, I don’t remember the seaming being that big on this blouse.” I thought to myself. Then it dawned on me and I quickly flipped my top the right side out. I ended up re-photographing the detail shot of the waistline later, inside the house. So, if you notice a difference from the full outfit shot to the detail that is why. Sheesh.

Also, The shirt had a different tank sewn onto it when I bought it, that was a tad too see-through for my liking so I cut it out. Now I layer the blouse over whatever tank I want.

2-The khaki color of the shorts makes me look like I am not wearing pants at a distance. This might become a problem for me. Perhaps I should have gone with the black pair?

3-I am pale, especially on my legs, but I do not care. I have never cared for the look of tans beyond sun-kissed, and that is just as well since I cannot tan anyway. In the summer, I slather the sunscreen on daily, lest I burn up. I do, however, gain freckles, which I love.

Fully Armed

(Outfit Notes: Tank-Old Navy/Earrings-Handmade by Me/Jeans-Apt.9 at Kohl’s/Peep Toe Flats-Mudd Brand)

I can’t really ever remember liking my arms. Over the years, I believe I have even uttered harsh language at them for being so rounded and fleshy. Whenever I look at photos of my wedding day, I often find myself fretting more about how fat my arms look in the pictures than able to focus on my happiness that day. And that, that is just sad and it needs to stop.

Warm weather has returned (mostly) to Maine, and last week we even hit the 80’s in temperatures with quite the humidity. On one particular day, I was all dressed, and then as soon as I got into the car I began sweating. So did Jeramy, and when he ran back into the house to change his long-sleeved shirt, I did as well. I put on this cute new tank top that I scored on sale for only eight dollars at Old Navy, and we hit the road.

I was so much more comfortable temperature-wise, but I also felt extremely uncomfortable in my own body. We stopped into a little store to grab some bottled water for our drive, and as I walked through the store all I could think was: “I feel so naked, so exposed. Surely, people are looking at my fat arms with disgust.” I could not stop obsessing. When I got back to the car, I grabbed the 3/4 length sleeve shirt I had started the day wearing, put it back on, and thought: “Who cares if I am too warm, my arms are covered.”

Later that day I told Jeramy about all of this and he reassured me. I remained unconvinced, however, until a couple of days later. I started thinking about my recent resolutions to love the body that I have. If I am able to accept my soft and rounded belly, why can’t I get over my hatred of my arms? Then I began thinking of all the wonderful things my arms do for me:

~They allow me to embrace my loved ones.
~They allow me to create art.
~They enable me to hold and cradle my child.
~They enable me to reach.
~They will help me to tend a garden someday.
~They allow me to cook.
~They help me to care for my home.
~They allow me to drive.
~They enable me to carry things.

~Even right now they are helping me to type these words, run my fingers through my hair, and sip my iced coffee.

If I lost them or the ability to use them I would realize that I was silly to hate them for their curves. To care for them I can do some strength exercises, such as a few of my favorite yoga poses. I can also stop using words like “hate” and “ugly” when talking about them.

My arms may not be slender, they may have extra flesh to pinch, they might bulge out when I flatten them to my body, but I appreciate them. They are the arms of a Mumma who lifts her toddler. They are the arms of an artist who raises her paintbrush. They are the arms of a wife who embraces her husband when he comes home. And they are the arms of a woman who is learning to love every single part of herself.